Catalonia is not the problem

The Irish Republic

No, the problem is Spain, or more precisely, the Spanish political class as represented in politics by the PP, the PSOE and Ciudadanos. The latter two parties have supported Mariano Rajoy’s PP and its policy of squashing Catalonia’s limited autonomy and have enabled the passage of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to put that into effect.

Every effort made by the Catalan President and parliament to engage in dialogue with Madrid so as to find a solution to the crisis has been imperiously spurned. The so-called ‘king’ of Spain (what a ridiculous medieval construct that is!) has rowed in on the side of the PP, causing great offence in Catalonia not least for his tacit endorsement of the actions of the storm-troopers sent by Madrid in to halt a democratic process — the independence referendum.

But the problem is also the EU. Every appeal by the Catalans for a vindication of…

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IACP Names Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe

Source: IACP Names Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe

Catalonia: Imagining The Republic

The Irish Republic

After a day spent watching events unfold in Catalonia via social media as the paramilitary agents of Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy used jackboot tactics to disrupt a democratic process – the October 1st independence referendum – I went to bed with some crucial words from Catalan President Carles Puigdemont occupying my thoughts.

Puigdemont, speaking on TV, indicated an early declaration of independence based on a 90% ‘Yes’ vote in favour, and concluded by saying that an independent Catalonia would ‘take the form of a republic’. That, to my mind, is a critically important statement of intent. There are a number of reasons for that.

The intent to create a republic represents a clear break with the Spanish constitution which is that of a monarchist state, and a clear rejection of the authority of Spain’s constitutional court which is not independent but is politically appointed by the Madrid government whose authority…

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Bizarre – Official document records Doctor’s notes about death of Fr Niall Molloy

Fr. Niall Molloy - Unsolved Murder 1985

A document which I and a Solicitor have recently seen which was written by a medical doctor states that he had been told about the circumstances of Fr Niall Molloy’s death.

I am not going to go into all the details at this stage but the Doctor’s statement is  recorded at 3:15 p.m. on the 8/7/85.

The Doctor  entered in his notes “Bizarre story ratified by checking again”

He twice mentions in his notes ” Murder of Priest ”

The Gardai were not notified of Niall’s death until a phone call was made to local Sergeant at about the same time

Bill Maher

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Catalonia & Ireland: The Republic, interrupted.

The Irish Republic

One of the most important aspects of the current struggle between Catalonia and the central Spanish government in Madrid is, I believe, being overlooked. It is the battle of ideas between the dark ages of monarchism and hierarchical control of the people by a distant elite and the establishment of a progressive enlightened republic in Catalonia owned and shaped by the people and fit for their life in the 21st century.

It is not the first time the people of Catalonia have explored the potential of such a republic, but the fifth. On four previous occasions a Catalan republic has been proclaimed; in 1641, 1873, 1931 and 1934. We know that on the last occasion the republic was brutally put down by Franco’s fascist forces with the assistance of Hitler, Mussolini and, less overtly, of Britain and other western governments. Shamefully, one of those was the Irish government.

There are parallels…

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NI Prisoner Ombudsman to speak on Prisoner Complaints and Investigations into Prison Deaths | Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)

Mary Rogan

REMINDER: NI Prisoner Ombudsman to speak on Prisoner Complaints and Investigations into Prison Deaths | Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT).

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is delighted to welcome Northern Ireland Prisoner Ombudsman, Pauline McCabe, to Dublin as keynote speaker at a seminar and launch event taking place this Friday, 30th March 2012 at 11am in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle.

Strengthening Accountability Behind Bars: Prisoner Rights and Prisoner Complaints will outline the rights of prisoners while they are in custody, whilst also examining the structures that need to be in place in order to protect these rights. A new publication, the Know Your Rights Your Rights as a Prisoner, produced jointly with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, will be launched at the event.

Pauline McCabe has established her office at the cutting edge of prison accountability internationally and she will speak about her…

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At last, a marker for Bang Bang.

Come Here To Me!

In April 1846, the Dublin street performer Michael Moran passed away. Known as Zozimus, the ‘Blind Bard of the Liberties’ had spent years reciting poetry and verse on the streets of the capital, much of it composed by himself. Fearful of grave robbers, Moran was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, which boasted watch towers to keep the ‘sack-em-ups’ away from the corpses of the recently deceased.

A work dedicated to his memory was published in 1871, and noted that:

When arrived at his destined spot, Zozimus would spread out his arms, as if to catch all comers-and-goers- and say with his own great and peculiar accent:

‘Ye sons of daughters of Erin, attend.

Gather round poor Zozimus, yer friend.

Listen, boys, until yez hear

My charming song so dear.

Zozimus lay in an unmarked grave until 1988. In that year of Dublin’s so-called Millennium (a historically dubious claim, but a year…

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The Historic Setback of Capitalism – A Review of Silvia Federici’s “Caliban and the Witch”

The End of Capitalism

The following book review was published in the Fall issue of Fifth Estate.  I originally wrote a much longer version here. This one’s short and sweet. [alex knight]
calibanwitch250Silvia Federici’s book, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation, is an essential read for those of us seeking to overthrow systems of domination and build a liberated future.

What is most fascinating about Caliban and the Witch is how it challenges the widely-held belief that capitalism, though perhaps flawed in its current form, was at one time a “progressive” or necessary development. Uncovering the forgotten history of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe in suspicion and fire for more than 200 years, Federici demonstrates that capitalism has always relied on spectacular violence, particularly against women, people of color, workers, and those cultivating a more egalitarian future.

The book recalls the enormous and colorful peasant movements of…

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Fine Gael will go to the limits and beyond to defend the Garda

Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

The theme of a posting I put up three weeks ago concerned the role of the Garda in pursuing the Jobstown prosecutions and how their stock in the eyes of the public had plummeted in recent years not least due to their role in the water charges movement.

In the intervening three weeks we have observed:

  • The existence of up to forty unauthorised bank accounts centred around Templemore Garda training college which were operating as a slush fund and the efforts of senior Gardaí to obstruct civilian management within the organisation investigating this
  • The complete degradation of Dara Quigley days before her tragic suicide
  • Headlines regarding a significant jump in Garda surveillance including at least one occurrence of surveillance of a Minister’s constituency rival

Coupled with the last point is the victimisation of another Garda whistleblower who objected to the completely inappropriate surveillance practices.

Gene Kerrigan in last weekend’s Sunday…

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The judiciary remains the last potential obstacle in securing a not guilty verdict for the Jobstown Protesters

Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

Most of us who have followed closely the unfolding Jobstown Trial over the last four weeks can’t help but feel a rising optimism about the prospects of a not guilty verdict. Our anxiety about the blatant stacking of the jury was assuaged when the judge threw out the DPP’s application seeking basically a jury composed of hardcore Fine Gael and Labour voters. The resources that #JobstownNotGuilty and others put into exposing the DPP’s disgraceful anti-working class application were resources well spent.

Our next concern was that the politics that underpin the Jobstown trial, that is Labour’s betrayals in government, which brought people out in protest against Joan Burton, would not get an airing. It has to be acknowledged that the Senior Counsel, whose personal politics I cannot vouch for, have followed their brief admirably and brought the class politics into the courtroom when cross examining Joan Burton, Karen O’Connell and…

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